Re: Best places to put topics when they're needed twice

Subject: Re: Best places to put topics when they're needed twice
From: Editor in Chief <editorialstandards -at- gmail -dot- com>
To: Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com>
Date: Tue, 5 Nov 2013 11:01:47 -0500

Say a product had ten major options that were best selected and configured
during the unit setup, and those options affected performance, security,
convenience, compatibility with widely-used third party products, etc.

Say that some were mutually exclusive - simply wouldn't work with each
other.

Say that others can, and often do, work together, but don't need to, and
occasionally shouldn't...

Say that standards that a large chunk of customers must meet preclude those
customers accessing certain of the major product features.

So, we enthusiastically ignore the convenience of the writer, and we
provide a separate, end-to-end-complete with no deviations,
distinctly-named PDF configuration procedure for each possible combination
of base product plus selectable features. Now, because I noted that some
features either can't, or normally would not be used together, the full set
of config documents would be significantly less than 10 to the power 10
unique PDFs. Let's be really conservative and say that we need
10-to-the-power-5 different documents, each identified by a unique title.
Preferably a title that can be written in a font that is readable without a
magnifier. Hmm. Calculating how many words you'd need in a title to
uniquely identify it among 100000 similar titles...

Is that about right?

I kinda prefer the notion of a single doc that takes a customer through a
full configuration of the most common setup, with notes along the way about
where to find other individual pieces of config that are optional from the
perspective of the chosen config. But, that preference might simply be my
age influencing me - the fact that I don't have enough time remaining, on
this side of the lawn, to even think up unique names for all possible
config combos, let alone write them all as separate, self-contained,
stand-alone docs....

Never mind that the products would have reached end-of-life and gone into a
museum by the time that could be done.






On Mon, Nov 4, 2013 at 2:23 AM, Gene Kim-Eng <techwr -at- genek -dot- com> wrote:

> Duplicate the topic so your users don't have to jump around from place to
> place in a pdf to follow a procedure.
>
> And it is reducing work on your end, to track the duplicated sections
> (assuming you can't just link them to the same source) to keep them in sync.
>
> I've worked and on systems like the one you described, and the usual
> workflow for manuals like the ones you're creating is to read and print out
> the procedure in advance and manually insert the pages with the sections
> that are out of sequence into the right places in the main procedure,
> cursing the manual all the way.
>
> Gene Kim-Eng
>
>
>
> On 11/3/2013 4:13 PM, Editor in Chief wrote:
>
>> Not sure what that has to do with the question at hand.
>>
>> Are you annoyed that you would be in the minority that would not follow
>> the main flow that most of our customers are known to use?
>>
>> There's no "reducing work for the writer" the material is written, the
>> examples captured. It's a matter of where and how it is presented.
>>
>
>


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Follow-Ups:

References:
Best places to put topics when they're needed twice: From: Editor in Chief
Re: Best places to put topics when they're needed twice: From: Gene Kim-Eng
Re: Best places to put topics when they're needed twice: From: Editor in Chief
Re: Best places to put topics when they're needed twice: From: Gene Kim-Eng

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